Once again, the Obama State Department authorizes the top intelligence agent for the Cuban dictatorship here in the U.S. to gallivant around the U.S., spread Castro propaganda, and recruit new spies.
Cuba’s top U.S. diplomat visits Chicago this week
Cuba’s top diplomat in the U.S. visits Chicago this week for four days of meetings with business leaders, academics and Cuban-Americans.
It’s the first trip to the Windy City for Jose Ramon Cabanas Rodriguez, who became chief of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington last March.
It’s also the first time a high-ranking Cuban official has visited the city since 1999, when arrangements were made for former Gov. George Ryan to become
the first U.S. governor to lead a group of business, political and cultural leaders to Cuba since Fidel Castro seized control in 1959. It was dubbed a “humanitarian mission” rather than a trade mission to downplay concerns about violating the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which is still in effect after more than 50 years.
(Cuba and the U.S. don’t have embassies or ambassadors in each other’s countries because they don’t have official diplomatic relations.)
Trade and the prospects for collaboration between Illinois, Chicago and the island nation are high on the agenda of Mr. Rodriguez, according to Charles Serrano, chairman of the Council on Latin American Relations, a Chicago nonprofit group that is co-sponsoring the trip. The Cuban diplomat could not be reached for comment.
So far, trade hasn’t lived up to the excitement raised by Mr. Ryan’s first visit. But Illinois exports are up so far this year to $3.7 million through July, compared with $2.6 million for all of last year. The state’s biggest exports this year are meat and dairy products, according to WiserTrade.org, a data tracking firm in Leverett, Mass.
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